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Tallapoosa County BOE makes calendar changes

Published 11:33am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Tallapoosa County Board of Education settled on a new school calendar and shored up some old issues at its meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Joe Windle said the 2013-14 calendar would have 175 instructional days – five more days than last year.

“I was concerned about going from the 180-day calendar to a 170-day calendar that had 1,080 instructional hours,” Windle said. “I think this calendar brings us back to a balance.”

In addition to adding 5 days, the calendar will differ from years past as vacation days match up with Alexander City Schools.

“I like the fact we are able to match up (vacation days) with Alexander City,” Windle said. “We have families in the Horseshoe Bend area and Dadeville area that are connected to families in Alexander City. Having common vacation days is important.”

The first day of school will be Aug. 19, with the final day scheduled for May 30, 2014.

The board also approved a 911 tower agreement, an item that predates most members of the current school board. The agreement will allow the local 911 board to use abandoned towers on school property.

“This is a project that has been debated since 1996,” Windle said.

Windle explained that communications towers were installed on campuses throughout the system as part of the school’s information management system.

The original company tasked with maintenance of the system lost the contract for information management with the board of education.

“Trillium, the company that owned the towers, lost the contract and … had no use for the towers,” Windle said. “(Trillium) moved off and left them.”

Windle said that the 911 system had a use for the towers.

“Our 911 system in the county has been looking for ways to link communication from the north to south end of the county,” Windle said. “These towers were seen as a workable alternative, but they were on school property.”

Windle said all three parties had to reach an agreement, but he feels like the end result was good for all involved.

“It is a win-win,” Windle said. “The board is absolved of all liability and maintenance, and the 911 board gets a set of towers to link communications in the event of emergencies.”

Windle said the towers were located at Reeltown High School, Edward Bell Technical Center, Horseshoe Bend School, the Dadeville maintenance shop and Councill Middle School.